A wetu frame structure remained on display at the Baker Street Playground in Warren, RI over the Fourth of July weekend following the installation of a new sign describing the unique features of the Park. Wetus are structures that the Pokanoket and other Algonquian people used for housing. Usually two or three times as large as the one in the photos and covered with bark and mats, they could provide warm shelter in the winter and cool, rainproof shelter in the summer.
The historic marker (seen below, click here to enlarge) describes a sacred circle monument of stones, each marked with symbols from Native American tribes in New England and described in the marker.
The wetu was constructed by members of the Pokanoket Tribe at Mount Hope Farm in Bristol and placed temporarily at the Park during the ceremony to recognize the 400th anniversary of Pilgrims Edward Winslow and Stephen Hopkins who walked 42 miles from Plymouth to Warren in 1621 to meet with the Massasoit Ousamequin. Plans are to begin covering it with bark when it’s displayed at Burr’s Hill Park on August 8th in advance of International Indigenous Peoples Day.
A couple and their child stop at the marker in front of the wetu on Water Street in front of the Baker Street Playground just south of the Wharf Tavern.
Members of the Pokanoket Tribe (Left to right: Harry Hawk Edmonds, Sagamore William Winds of Thunder Guy, and Lee Brave Heart Edmonds) look at the marker and wetu one more time before the wetu is taken away for future use.